Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy 6 month birthday

I know I posted something about Holland yesterday, but it just so happens that the 22nd and 23rd are back to back.  (Yes, that's right, I can count).  And I normally just sort of include my thoughts and feelings into one post for both days.  But today feels significant, with her being 6 months.  It's a big milestone for a baby.
And it's extremely bittersweet to think about what she would be doing right now.  It makes me happy to think about my little girl alive and happy.  But it also reminds me of how much I miss her and wish she were with me. My aunt sent me a quote a few months ago that I think depicts how people feel when they lose a child, more specifically, a baby:

"When we bury the old, we bury the known past, the past we imagine sometimes better than it was, but the past all the same, a portion of which we inhabited.  Memory is the overwhelming theme, the eventual comfort."
"But, burying infants, we bury the future, unwieldy and uknown, full of promise and possibilities, outcomes punctuated by our rose hopes.  The grief has no borders, no limits, no known ends, and the little infant graves that edge the corners and fence rows of every cemetery are never quite big enough to hold that grief.  Some sadnesses are permanent."
- Thomas Lynch, The Undertaking

Our sadness for Holland is permanent, but so is our love.  Our knowledge that she still exists is permanent, and so is the knowledge that we will see and be with her again.  I am also extremely grateful for the few and simple memories we do have of her.  Her pictures and videos never get old for us.

(I swear, a more lighthearted post will be coming soon:) ).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Four Months

Today is the four month marker of the day Holland died: October 22, 2011. It is strange because it seems like it just happened, and yet it feels like forever ago that I held my baby in my arms.  That was probably the hardest day of my life, and yet I would relive it over and over again if it meant I could hold and feel my little girl again. I would in a heartbeat.
Nick, Briz, and I miss our little Hoo.
She has officially been dead twice as long as she was alive already, and yet she has taught me more than any other person ever has. I know that my life will never be complete without her alive: things would always be better if she were here. But I am very grateful for the lessons I have learned and how I have grown from this experience.  

P.S. This picture is of Holland about a week before she died.  And even though it's not great quality, it's one of my favorites because it looks like her: chubby cheeks, big eyes, and very content with life.  She was singing along in this picture to Florence and the Machine (she also had excellent taste in music :) ) post bath.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

She scares me

Brizzy scares the crap out of me sometimes.  Some of the things she says are both hilarious and yet frighten me.  I know I've said this before, so I won't continue to go on and on about it.  But some of her latest sayings:

- "I already said that!" (Keep in mind that she says a lot of these things with serious attitude).  She often says this when I ask her to use manners and say things like please, thank you, and sorry.
- Nick came home from work the other night and we were having a conversation.  Since she believes that she should be the dictator of who gets to speak and when they have that privilege, she said to me, "Mom, can you please stop talking?"  Followed by (in a patronizing whisper), "Mom, it's quiet time."
- When she was playing with her "Little People" nativity set, she said in a playful, patronizing voice, "Hey there Jesus, I'm going to get you Jesus, watch out for the tickle bug Jesus."  For some reason, this just sounded wrong.
- I asked her the other day why she didn't want to go potty on the toilet and she responded with, "Because I don't have to listen to you." Yikes.
- "I need ice."  She now says this whenever she gets on "owie."
- When she wants to know more specifics she says, "Which kind of . . .?"  For example, I told her earlier today that we were going to listen to princess music and she said, "Which kinda princess music?"  Sometimes it feels impossible to answer these questions at times, so usually my response is something like, "The kind that you like," or "The kind that is awesome."
- "I'm just sayin' . . . " this is her best and final defense when we have an argument.
-" . . . if you want."  She ends her sentences with this when she is trying to get me to do something that she wants me to do but is trying to make me think it is her idea.
- "Otherwise . . ." Again, a debating tactic for her.  But the really freaky thing about this is that she uses it correctly.
- "Can you just . . .?" This is her point of real frustration when she wants me to do something.  i.e. we made pink cupcakes and she was trying to convince me she should eat one for breakfast.  When I wasn't giving in, she said, very angry, "Can you just get me a pink cupcake please?!" (Note, she thinks if she uses the word please that it will get her anything she wants).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hawaii Part I

 We got back this week from spending 9 days in Maui.  It was my parents Christmas present to our family.  And I couldn't have asked for a better gift.  There is absolutely nothing better than being in the warm sun and water all day long.  I named this post Part I because I have a lot more pictures (I know, big shocker); these are just the pictures from Nick's iphone.  I have some good pictures on my camera, but I'm a little OCD about editing and so they may not be up for a little bit. Plus, it's late and I'm tired and feeling lazy, so I don't really have the desire to describe our vacation in detail.  Until then, these will have to do . . .  

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I have been very interested in poetry lately as a party of the healing and grieving process.  Reading it, writing it, you name it.  I ran across a poem the other day that really stayed with me.  And I wanted to share it.  If get really brave, maybe, just maybe, I will share some of the poetry I have written (but that is most likely a long shot).  Sorry for the length:

A Sparrow Fell

A sparrow fell - and no one heard.
Nobody cared.  It was just a bird.
From all the numberless flitting throng
Of sparrows, who would miss one song?
But God leaned down and whispered, "I care.
It was one of my sparrows, and I was there."

A little girl, all sunshine and laughter,
(And sometimes scoldings, with kisses after!)
And hurts to smooth over, and deeds to applaud-
A little girl fell! Where were you God?
A little girl fell! God, why weren't you there?
Is it only for sparrows and such that You care?

If you're God at all - then you could have prevented
This nightmare of pain! So You must have consented.
I've always believed You were loving and good.
I'd like to believe still - if only I could.
But God, if You love me, how can You allow
Such unbearable pain as I'm feeling right now?

Such helplessness - hopelessness - bitter regret-
So many tears have fallen; and yet
So many more that are still locked inside.
Oh, God - out there somewhere - have you ever cried?
I'm not even sure anymore that You're real.
But if You are, God - Do you care how I feel?

Beloved, I care! In the midst of your grief,
In the midst your stricken and crumbling belief,
In the midst of the blackness of total despair,
In the midst of your questioning, Child - I am there.
In the midst! Not far off in some vague fifth dimension,
But there, where you are, giving you My attention . . .

My constant attention - and not just today.
Since before you were born, I have loved you this way.
You're important to Me. Every hair on your head
I have numbered Myself! Can these tears that you shed
Go uncounted? Unnoticed? Nay, child; here I stand.
Close enough that each teardrop falls into My hand.

Nor am I stranger to anguish - to loss.
My own Son was taken one day - by a cross.
I know what you suffer.  I know what you'll gain
If you'll let Me walk with you into your pain.
I'll carry your grief, and your sorrow I'll bear.
You've only to reach out your hand - I am there!

Fear nothing for Holland*.  Your dear little girl
Is safe in My house - and all Heaven's awhirl
With the ring of her laughter, her quick eager smile.
And the things she's saving to show you - "after awhile."
Yes, I could have prevented - but Child, you can't see
With My perfect wisdom. Trust Holland to Me.

Of course you will miss her, but while you are weeping,
Remember it's only her body that's sleeping.
Her "self" is awake.  Wide awake.  As I said,
I am God of the living, not God of the dead.
She trusted Me, and My sure Word comes to pass:
"Who believes shall not die." That included your lass.

Let Me walk with you now, through the long, heavy days;
Let Me slowly begin changing heartache to praise.
Take hold of My hand, Child: take hold of My love.
I will lead you to joys that you yet know not of.
Your faith may be weak, and your trust incomplete,
But I'll not walk too fast for your stumbling feet.

* the original name in the Poem is Janet, but it works much better for me personally if I add my own daughter's name to it :)